Nowadays, consumers are not only looking for products and services that suit their needs and wants but also fit their lifestyles and values. It is of no surprise that they want their favorite brands to endorse diversity and inclusion; even more so now with the current moral crisis brought upon by Black Life Matter protests across the globe together with the whole spectrum of talk about climate change, sexual orientation, body acceptance, ethical labor practices, etc.
From a customer point of view, brands cannot afford to remain any longer silent or stay on the side-line promoting a culture of inclusiveness and a safe working environment while in the end, the ethical practices come at the expense of business performance – by the look of the long list of official apologies being issued by brands, fearing repercussions admis the revealing of action brought forward by the media and some associations, it is clear that many companies have started to understand the importance of a transparent process in this matter.
Credit: Théo Curin for Biotherm Homme
Environmental, social and governance criteria are more and more vital components that companies need to assess, be it in the current practices and messages they convert as well as those of their business partners and talents they work with because in the digital era we live in, information circulate at lightning speed and the repercussion could be disastrous at the first misstep identify and brought forward.
While the following guidelines have been well enforced in other industries like in the world of finance and investment, they could still apply to influencer marketing and should be important criteria to consider while depicting your strategies, partnerships and even your talent selection to mitigate the risk of your marketing dollars but also help audiences build a worldview of empathy, love, and understanding.
But what exactly does the word diversity mean in influencer marketing? Simply put, it refers to individuals who show the uniqueness and
differentiation of human beings from all walks of life. This includes background, ethnicity, skin color, gender, body type, socioeconomic status, physical abilities, religious beliefs, and so on.
When a company decides, therefore, to add diversity into their influencer strategy and campaign, the reach is broader with a more defined audience, while cutting throw all the constant “noise” online, by displaying a sense of authenticity and reliability within the campaign and reflecting brand values that echo with the global consumer of the twenty-first century. The result of this translates to better brand awareness and association, which ultimately means higher conversion and better return on investment (ROI).
Diversity translates to more reliability
Influencer marketing has taken the world of advertising, marketing, communication, and public relation by storm, proving to be an undeniable arsenal to leverage into brand management strategy. And influencer marketing works because of the reliability and the authenticity of brands that have the ingenuity to partner with the right influencer who can uniquely and creatively relay a brand’s message in a way that resonates with followers/fan base. In recent years and with the rise of social media, it has proven to be valuable in helping shape and deliver the brand’s messages to the individual consumer.
And when brands start to incorporate diversity in their influencer marketing campaigns, they don’t just strengthen the brand strategy, but the brand message actually resonates with a larger and more defined audience.
Portrayal in influencer marketing
The rise of social media platforms has also seen the advent of a new generation of amazing and ingenious content creators who are zestfully expressing their creativity without any kind of limitation that is persistent with classic media channels. Nevertheless, even though social media and influencer marketing are quite relatively new, the underlying and unconscious past structures long-held by traditional media and cultures do prevail.
Minorities are still largely unheard of in art, culture, dance, music, or literature. Those voices and the diversity that they bring should be recognized. Brands need to find ways to include diversity in their marketing efforts, and rein after expanding that narrow and shallow vision of the word to encompass sexual orientation, gender identity, differently-abled people, different body size and type, etc.
We at Ykone, strongly value diversity and in that sense when we work with our clients we advise them to take a look at their current practices to uncover unconscious biases that exist, be it in creative, talent selection, or contract negotiations. Primarily with contract negotiations where we encourage and help our clients to hire new faces that resonate with their brand values and messages, help to amplify diverse clients’ voices and promote equitable pay among the talents we sourced.
To conclude, when developing your next influencer marketing strategy and campaigns, do so with an open mindset and think of diversity. Ask yourself what diversity means for your brand and company, think of your target audience, and the message of inclusiveness and positivity that you can help spread by just including more diversity into your campaigns.